Religious Studies (Short Course) Revision Religion and Planet Earth

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1 Religious Studies (Short Course) Revision Religion and Planet Earth

2 How to use this presentation The first part of this presentation (blue headings) will give you brief information, religious viewpoints and pictures for the Religion and Planet Earth topic. The second part of the presentation (green headings) will have exam questions and tasks for you to work through for this topic.

3 What topics could be on the paper? Beliefs about the origins of life Religious and other views about the nature of planet earth Stewardship and the responsibility of caring for planet earth The effects of modern lifestyles on planet earth Issues concerning the problems caused by pollution on planet earth The ways in which natural habitats have been destroyed The use of natural resources such as coal, oil and gas Issues surrounding the debate about climate change and global warming Conservation work and other ways to protect the planet Religious responses to environmental issues

4 Beliefs about the origins of life The earth is like a precious gift that we want to care for and need to remember how upsetting it would be if something happened to destroy it. Christianity Genesis 1-2 tells the story of how God created the heavens and the earth out of nothing, filled the earth with creatures and made human beings. God completed his work in six days and rested on the seventh day. There is also the separate story of Adam and Eve. Some Christians take these stories literally, however most prefer to concentrate on the truths they contain about caring for the planet and believe that they were not written as scientific explanations. Buddhism The main message of creation stories is to show that the earth is here for us to use and not abuse. There is no Buddhist creation story. The Buddha thought questions about how the earth started were idle speculation. No answer would satisfy everyone. Buddhists believe that worlds evolve and follow a cycle of decay, death and rebirth.

5 The seven days of creation Day one Light Day two Heaven and Earth Day three Land, sea and vegetation Day four Sun, moon and stars Day five Sea creatures and birds Day six Land animals and humans Day seven God rests

6 Views about the nature of the planet Science reveals a world filled with mystery, awe and wonder, which inspires people to investigate things and think about the purpose of life on earth. Some people feel that it is these feelings that make wildlife programmes on TV so popular, however others feel that we are loosing this sense of awe and wonder as science explains more about the world and humans take the planet for granted. Awe: A feeling of respect; insight into meaning greater than oneself. Wonder: marvelling at the complexity and beauty of the universe. Christian view God created the universe as an expression of his love. As God s children, humans have the responsibility to care for this gift. Buddhist view The universe is a single, vast living thing. All parts of the natural depend on each other and as we are part of nature we should not act against it.

7 Stewardship and caring for planet earth Stewardship is the idea that people have been given a special responsibility to be in charge of the earth, protect and care for it. The earth provides many things to use for our survival and we should appreciate this rather than abusing it. Christian view In the past the instruction by God to rule over every living creature was understood in terms of domination rather than stewardship. Now Christians believe they have a duty to conserve the Earth for future generations. Buddhist view Buddhist scriptures teach Buddhists not to do evil, but rather to do good. Humans should develop an attitude of loving kindness towards the earth and not exploit it uncessarily. Just as the bee takes nectar without destroying a flower, so humans should take what they need without damaging the universe.

8 Effects of modern lifestyles on planet earth The way we live now The Earth is the only planet that can support human life. Modern lifestyles are putting the Earths resources under more strain than ever before. The Greenhouse effect and global warming Pollution is created by emissions from the burning of coal, oil and gas. These cover the earth like a blanket that traps the suns heat like a greenhouse. Most people agree that this causes global warming as the temperatures and sea levels rise and the polar ice-caps begin to melt. Industrial Waste This is hard to deal with as it may contain dangerous chemicals that take a long time to disappear. In particular nuclear waste is a concern as radioactivity lasts for thousands of years. Household waste Many things in our homes such as food waste and electrical appliances are thrown away and are not biodegradable. People are starting to realise that more things can be reused, saving money and the environment. Recycling Most household now recycle glass, cans, newspapers, cardboard, plastic and garden waste. This is saving energy and resources. Emissions from cars and factories Carbon monoxide from cars can make it difficult to breathe in built up areas like cities. Cars also contribute to the greenhouse effect. The chemicals from factories released into the air will fall again as acid rain. Heating factories and transport also contribute to the issues.

9 Pollution Acid Rain Emissions from cars, factories and power stations combine with water vapour in the air to make acids which may end up in rain water. Forests and fish all over the world are dying as the acid can be carried a great distance. Oil Spills The huge demand for oil means that tankers carry it all over the world. The ships can get into trouble causing oil spills like the Exxon Valdex (1989). Much of the oil pollution in the sea comes from industries on land. Christian view Polluting the planet is not good stewardship and so is not following the teaching to Love thy neighbour. Toxic chemicals Toxic waste is created by the chemical industries creating chemicals, electronic equipment containing chemical and even breaking up old ships. These toxic chemicals are very difficult to dispose of safely. Pesticides These control the weeds, pests and diseases which helps farmers to get the best yield. However these are harmful to animals and humans in high enough doses. Buddhist view Pollution harms living creatures so it is against the first precept not to harm living beings.

10 The destruction of natural habitats Every 20 minutes the world looses at least one species of animal or plant life. Around 27,000 species each year are becoming extinct. As human populations grow bigger cities need to be created which results in the destruction of natural habitats. National parks have been created to protect and preserve natural habitats but this may not be enough to save a great variety of creatures. Deforestation (The permanent destruction of native forests and woodlands) is a major cause of the destruction of natural habitats leaving several creatures facing extinction. This can also affect a larger area of land and contribute towards global warming as trees no longer remove co2 and instead a clearing causes it to be released as the matter rots or is burnt. Christians The Earth and all life on it are given to us to share and develop, not to dominate and exploit. (Roman Catholic Church, 1991) Buddhists Monks and nuns may not destroy any plant or tree. (Vinaya Pitaka)

11 The use of natural resources The population of earth has exploded since This has caused a threat to the environment by the necessity of using more resources to support the people. Fossil fuels such as oil, coal and gas are non-renewable and yet we are continuing to use up these resources to produce things such as electricity at an alarming rate. There will soon be none of these resources left for future generations. Vast quantities of metal are used in industry and very little of this is recycled. As metals become rarer they will become more expensive. These basic chemical elements of the earth will not be able to be replaced. Renewable energy sources such as wind, wave and solar power are being developed for more regular use. Wind farms have sprung up around the country but are not popular with those who say they spoil the look of the countryside. Nuclear power is a secure energy supply that would help to tackle climate change, however the waste produced from this remains radioactive for thousands of years. Accidents or terrorist attacks on a nuclear power plant would be disastrous. Many support the idea of the government looking for cleaner renewable energy solutions.

12 Climate change and global warming Climate change While scientists agree that climate change is an issue, they have argued about the causes. Some believe that humans must change the way in which we are using resources to stop climate change becoming worse. Other scientists believe that the earth s climate is always changing so predictions about future global warming may be unreliable. The amount of CO2 in the atmosphere has increased by 33% since the industrial revolution. Greenhouse gases are trapping more of the sun s energy, so the warming of the planet is evident. Global warming Many scientists suggest that global warming will cause severe weather leading to droughts or floods. This could then cause many other problems for countries and the people within them. For example low-lying Bangladesh could suffer from a great deal of flooding causing contaminated water and disease. Some scientists disagree and suggest that the extreme weather conditions we are beginning to experience may not be part of global warming, however new studies are being published all of the time.

13 Caring for the planet - conservation Conservation - looking after the environment and protecting animals. Earth summits these are meetings where representatives from different countries and religious leaders meet to discuss the threat to the earth and agree on international action. -Rio de Janeiro 1992 pollution and deforestation were key issues. Countries urged to find alternative sources of energy, and keep greenhouse gas levels steady. -Kyoto 1997 The Kyoto protocol agreed. Countries promised to cut their CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions. - Johannesburg 2002 The poor, particularly those without clean water were a key issue. Loses of plant and animal life were also discussed with a view to combating problems by After agreeing to cut carbon emissions at the earth summits, governments had to put their promises into action. The British government published a draft climate change bill in March 2007.

14 Religious Responses to caring for the planet Christianity Humans were put in charge of creation, but this does not give us the right to abuse what God has made. God s glory is shown through the natural world and therefore Christians oppose thoughtless exploitation of nature that threatens to destroy it. Buddhism Destruction of the environment is the result of greed, ignorance and disregard for the richness of all living things. If it continues, future generations will inherit a dead world. This generation is aware of the great danger facing the world and so has responsibility to take action before it is too late.

15 Key Christian quotes and teachings about planet earth Christians believe that while humans were put in charge of the planet and given dominion over it that this does not mean that we can treat it as we wish. They believe that we have a responsibility to look after God s creation. Christians recognise that the principles of good stewardship, the sanctity of life and love of neighbour are interlinked and must be applied to the issue surrounding how we treat the planet. God created the world and put humans in charge Humans should act as stewards towards all creation. This means looking after what God has created. Jesus taught us to love thy neighbour. This means that humans should think of others when looking after the planet.

16 Key Buddhist quotes and teachings about planet earth Buddhists do not believe in God but believe that they have a duty to protect the natural world. The earth is not a possession, we merely use it for a while and should leave the world in a fit state for others in the future. Ignorance and greed is seen as a major cause for the ways in which the earth has been treated by some people. We need to look more carefully at our surroundings. The first moral precept says I will not harm any living thing. Just as the bee takes nectar without destroying the flower, humans should take what they need without damaging the universe. Buddhists believe that all life is connected and dependent on each other, so by destroying the earth we impact on humans as well

17 Tasks The following slides contain tasks. Complete these in your book or on paper.

18 Alphabet challenge - Find a word or phrase linked to the planet earth topic for each letter. Try to include some religious teachings on your list.

19 Quick quiz Answer these one and two mark exam questions without using notes. 1. What is stewardship? (1 mark) 2. Give two examples of pollution. (2 mark) 3. What is conservation(1 mark) 4. Give one renewable source of energy (1 mark) 5. Give two nonrenewable fuels. (2 mark) 6. Give one reason why a religious person may support earth summits (1 mark) 7. Give one reason why a religious person may support renewable energy (1 mark) 8. What is climate change (1 mark)

20 Quick quiz - answers Answer these one and two mark exam questions without using notes. 1. The idea that believers have a duty to look after the environment on behalf of God. 2. Acid rain; oil spills; toxic chemicals; pesticides etc. 3. Looking after the environment and protecting animals. 6. Their religion teaches them to care for the planet; religious leaders support them. 4. Wind power, wave power, solar power, nuclear power. 7. Better for the planet; takes care of they neighbour. 5. oil; coal; gas 8. The idea that the climate is getting warmer.

21 Word circle See how many of the key terms you can find within this circle. Once you have found them try to write down the definitions.

22 Brief religious teachings Without checking previous slides, can you identify a Buddhist and a Christian teaching that could be used for each of the following topics. Climate change Destruction of natural habitats Pollution Effects of modern lifestyles Origins of life Natural resources

23 Flash cards Choose key religious information and create flash cards to help you remember. Aim for the key teaching and some pictures to help you remember. For example: Buddhism Caring for the planet Just as the bee takes nectar without destroying the flower, humans should take what they need without damaging the universe..

24 3 Mark Exam questions 3 mark evaluation questions ask you for your opinion, giving reasons for your answer. Your answer does not need to include religious viewpoints as the statement will be about a religious topic, but you can include them. Look at the answer below and see how many marks you think it is worth. Religious believers have more of a duty to care for the planet than anyone else What do you think? Explain your opinion. I disagree that religious believers have more of a duty to care for the planet than anyone else. Whilst Christians believe in Stewardship which teaches them to care for the planet because God allows them to live on it, they are not the only people who have contributed to the problems we are facing on the earth. Anyone who drives a car, catches a plane or uses products made in factories has a responsibility to care for the planet. I also disagree as we should all want to leave the planet in a good condition for future generations, this does not depend upon religious beliefs but is about caring for others. This answer would receive 3 marks as it contains two reasons which have both been developed with examples.

25 3 Mark Exam questions Now try these evaluation questions, using the mark scheme to ensure that you receive full marks. God gave us the earth to use, not abuse. What do you think? Explain your opinion. Religious leaders are not doing enough to save the planet. What do you think? Explain your opinion. The world belongs to God, so let God take care of it What do you think? Explain your opinion.

26 Crossword puzzle Try to identify the key environment words from the clues below. Across 5. The idea that believers have a duty to look after the planet on behalf of God 7. The ideas that the climate is getting warmer 8. The trapping of heat from the sun in the lower atmosphere due to an increase in carbon dioxide 9. The cutting down of large amounts of forest, usually because of business needs Down 1. Types of resources which are non-renewable 2. The name for United Nations conferences on the environment and development 3. looking after the environment and protecting animals 4. A type of renewable energy which is controversial 6. The contamination of something, especially the environment

27 Crossword puzzle Answers Across 5. Stewardship 7. Climate Change 8. Greenhouse Effect 9. Deforestation Down 1. Fossil Fuels 2. Earth Summits 3. Conservation 4. Nuclear power 6. Pollution Across 5. The idea that believers have a duty to look after the planet on behalf of God 7. The ideas that the climate is getting warmer 8. The trapping of heat from the sun in the lower atmosphere due to an increase in carbon dioxide 9. The cutting down of large amounts of forest, usually because of business needs Down 1. Types of resources which are non-renewable 2. The name for United Nations conferences on the environment and development 3. looking after the environment and protecting animals 4. A type of renewable energy which is controversial 6. The contamination of something, especially the environment

28 How to answer 6 mark evaluation questions Try to remember FARMER F For give arguments for the statement. A Against give arguments against the statement. R Religion say what religion thinks. M- Me say what I think. E ) Evaluate R - ) Religion Say what you think about the religious arguments.

29 Click to see how this answer uses the FARMER requirements Global warming will cause major problems for future generations. Do you agree? Give reasons showing you have considered other viewpoints. Refer to religious arguments in your answer. I agree that global warming will cause major problems for future generations as we are already seeing extreme weather conditions becoming more frequent. For example hurricanes occurring in the Atlantic may be part of this. There are some scientists who would disagree with this statement as they do not yet feel that there is enough evidence to show that global warming is causing the ice caps to melt. They also say that the climate has changed in the past and so this is part of the earths ever changing nature. Christians believe in stewardship, which means looking after the earth because God created it and allows us to use it. This means that they would agree with this statement because they would feel that regardless of proof, we should care for the planet because God created it as told in the creation story in Genesis 1-2 and allows us to use its resources for our benefit, not to abuse it. Buddhists would also agree as they believe that all life is interdependent and to abuse the earth now may cause problems for other life in the future. I agree with these religious views as they show that it is a good thing to leave the planet in a good state for future generations which helps everyone. Now use your mark scheme to work out how many marks this answer would achieve.

30 Try one of these exam questions using the FARMER requirements Religious leaders should do more to save the earth. Do you agree? Give reasons showing you have considered other viewpoints. Refer to religious arguments in your answer. There is no point in taking care of the planet. Do you agree? Give reasons showing you have considered other viewpoints. Refer to religious arguments in your answer. Now use your mark scheme to check your answer.

31 Are you now confident with the planet earth topic? Go back over the information slides at the start of this presentation. On a list or on a mind map, include all of the elements you still feel you need to revise.

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